How can we leverage digital technologies to share knowledge and bridge the gap towards reconciliation for Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians?

April attended the 2018 OECD Forum in Paris. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education at Central Queensland University and she is a is a proud Noonuccal woman of the Quandamooka nation from North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah). ​​​​​​​

Abstract

Digital technologies have provided individuals, communities and countries with opportunities to enhance their thinking, way of living and interactions with those around them. As the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform (2018) highlights, ‘Digital transformation can contribute to reducing inequality and achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’. Using this as a foundation, the following paper seeks to develop recommendations for how we can share and learn the Indigenous ways of knowing, doing and learning, through leveraging digital technologies to work towards reconciliation for Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians. Digital technology can be the conduit towards greater preservation, inclusiveness and respect for Indigenous cultures. The focus of the recommendations will be the development of an educational app as a tool to preserve Indigenous Australian languages, share cultural history and knowledge, and provide learnings about the ongoing sustainability of our land. Paired with a focus on stronger partnerships between Indigenous communities and government, and improved access to digital technology and infrastructure, this paper identifies a real opportunity to break down barriers and build reconciliation between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians.

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Fostering Resilience and Coping to Mitigate the Dangerous Effects of Climate Change on Mental Health.

Natalie attended the 71st World Health Assembly in Geneva in 2018. She is currently completing a Graduate Certificate in Clinical Ultrasound at Central Queensland University, alongside a Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery degree and a Masters degree in Public Health.

Abstract

Climate change has been described as the greatest global threat of the 21stcentury. The risk it poses to human health is multifaceted and complicated. Already, the health effects of climate change are being experienced, with the impact on health projected to increase with forecasted population growth. Only now is the threat to mental health posed by climate change being raised by governments around the world. 

This paper will review the direct and indirect impacts of climate change on mental health. It will also explore the international actions dedicated to addressing the mental health impacts on climate change, focussing on investigating applicability to the Australian population. Finally, it will outline two key strategies to mitigate the potentially-dangerous effect of climate change on mental health, with a focus on psychological preparedness training and integrating mental health information into existing community programs. 

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Public Mistrust in the Digitalisation of Health Records

Judith attended the 2018 OECD Forum in Paris. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Business at the Queensland University of Technology and works part time as a Law Clerk.

Abstract

The digital economy contributes to the global economic growth and advances human wellbeing. Alongside these benefits, however, come increasing risks that impact vulnerable environments across both the public and private sector. These risks include security threats, theft, and illegal activity, but potentially the most concerning is the risk of an increased lack of trust in governments and institutions. How can the Australian government address this risk and instead utilise digital transformation to regenerate trust in its systems, in particular in e-healthcare?

This paper outlines how the Australian government can re-evaluate their current digital strategies and policies to bolster consumer trust towards Electronic Medical Records (EMR), in an age of digital security risk.  After reviewing existing practices and policy, this paper will provide recommendations to increase engagement between the Australian Government and patients, in order to achieve a fully digitalised and integrated electronic Medical Records (‘ieMR’). Additionally, this paper will explore how the Australian government can employ digital initiatives to cultivate a level of trust within EMR to help facilitate its advancement.

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Addressing Barriers to Chronic Pain Treatment in Australia

Hayley attended the 71st World Health Assembly in Geneva in 2018. She is a PhD candidate at the University of South Australia and is currently a physiotherapist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and a pain science tutor at UniSA.​​​​​​​ 

Abstract

Chronic pain imposes a significant social and economic burden on the individual and the Australian community. There is a large gap between the volume of pain science knowledge generated through research and the application of that research in current policy and community settings. As a result, healthcare professionals do not receive adequate training in pain assessment and treatment, funding systems do not effectively meet needs in primary or tertiary care, and societal myths that encourage detrimental behaviour and increase fear and anxiety perpetuate. 

This paper will review the current state of pain management in Australia; consider international efforts to change the way the concept of pain is taught, classified and funded and; propose recommendations to align clinician and community views with a contemporary, biopsychosocial understanding of pain, with the ultimate aim of improving outcomes and reducing the economic and social impact of chronic pain.

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The Unsweet Truth about Sugar Sweetened Beverages

Sean attended the 71st World Health Assembly in Geneva. He is currently studying a Doctorate of Medicine at Bond University.

Abstract

A leading contributor to the burden of disease and health-care costs of the Australian population is poor nutrition, as convenience is often favoured over nutritional quality in modern society. Sugar sweetened beverages such as soft drinks, hold no nutritional value in a diet, yet two out of three Australians consume at least one daily. This equates to 47% of added sugar to an individual’s diet.1The link between the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages and the development of obesity is strong. There is also a strong link between obesity’s pro-inflammatory tendency and an individuals’ susceptibility to develop disease processes, such as heart disease and cancer. This research report will propose two recommendations; a federal sugar tax and restriction of serving sizes of sugar sweetened beverages. In doing so, it will also explore the social implications and political landscape that have hindered the implementation of effective policies to combat the risks of sugar-sweetened beverages to date.

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